The word “psychedelic,” in reference to current underground rock, is one of the most overused terms in modern rock writing. It’s been used to describe noise, drone, punk, doom and metal, but the majority of the time, it’s music that barely gets third eyes a-winkin’. More often than not, the psych tag is applied to bands with a delay pedal on vocals and a vintage synth oscillating in the background, usually from the keyboards of blog nerds who’ve grown up on Broken Social Scene and other lightweights.
Without a doubt, Montreal’s Panopticon Eyelids fit the psych bill. Their debut vinyl release, Overwhelming Visions, is sure to have connoisseurs of modern psych doing cartwheels. Sure, there are the obligatory Hawkwind oscillations and affected vocals, but underneath the hiss and squelch and smoke and mirrors lies a band that’s comfortable working with unabashed noise, a sound that’s as much Krautrock trance as it is vintage prog.
This five-song LP hits like a hammer, just like the best of White Hills or Comets on Fire, but it’s the almost (gulp) Voivod sections in songs like “Brain Phase” that really ignite the fuse here. On the record’s shining moment, “Psychic Spy,” the band reaches back to the glory days of the U.K.’s Loop (a highly underrated band — check ’em out) and perfectly concocts a stew of mind-searing psych with an insanely catchy melody that is sure to make them shine amid the current psych mire. Just fuggin’ great, and proof there are more than a few truly genius psych bands bubbling up in our burg.
Another local slab of wax that you may want to stick yer needle into is le Kid & les Marinellis’ new ‘un, Les Jolies Filles, released on Germany’s P. Trash label. This definitely has some serious garage stomp to it, but le Kid and Co. know how to change things up with a jaunt through most decades, like the pop-tinged “Personne ne Dit,” the countrified “20 Ans” and “Dis Moi,” as well as the Troggs-fuelled “Je ne Grandirai Pas.” Probably due to le Kid’s slightly warbly and snotty vocal, this will fit nicely between your Pebbles and Nuggets records, but it’s their detours down less travelled dirt roads that will have you coming back.
Here’s the gigs, Jack:
Tuesday – Tonight, Timmy’s Organism lays down its perfect blend of Captain Beefheart and the Pagans at Casa with Genital Hospital, the equally demented Vomit Squad and the Fuzz. If you were lucky enough to catch Timmy’s frontman’s old band Human Eye at Casa a couple of years ago, you know exactly what to expect.
Wednesday – If you dig your black metal with a hefty amount of industrial, the U.K.’s Anaal Nathrakh are indeed holdin’ and delivering the goods at Foufs.
Friday – Local franco rock supergroup Mardi Noir will make first impressions at l’Esco with Milanku.
Montreal’s raunchiest psych/punk band, Ultrathin. will put the sweat on the walls of Casa with Holy Cobras and Caverns.
If the above review of Panopticon Eyelids has you strokin’ yer whiskers, here’s another nudge: the band is launching Overwhelming Visions with Run Dmt, Ami Dang, Walter TV and Planet Hollywood at la Brique.
Saturday – One of Montreal’s best power-poppers, Dead Messenger, will stuff its set with its recently completed record at Barfly, with support from Goodnight, Sunrise and We Are Monroe.
For those who have been digging the resurgence of electronic and industrial elements in their doom/black metal, you are cordially invited to bum out to the dark tunes of Boston’s Sewer Goddess with Ames Sanglantes, Winter Line, Selfish Implosions and Termina at Casa. ■
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